Health Action Network to begin building office in Lincoln, Maine

Construction will begin in earnest this week on a $5.4 million office that will allow Health Access Network to consolidate six town sites into a state-of-the-art facility.

Surveyors from Delta Construction Services of Milford were at 175 West Broadway marking foundation and property dimensions Saturday so that workers overseen by general contractor Perry & Morrill Inc. of Bangor can begin foundation preparation work.

"I would expect that you will start seeing a lot of activity as soon as the ground dries a bit," said Dawn Cook, HAN's chief executive officer. "They have a schedule that is pretty aggressive. They will start digging out and filling in the foundation starting within a few weeks."

HAN plans to build the 28,000-square-foot, two-story building for primary care, mental health, podiatry, OB-GYN specialties and administrative services. It will be adjacent to the Lincoln Maine Federal Credit Union.

The new building will help Health Access add 12 new jobs - including three primary-care doctors and two mental health professionals - to its 90-worker payroll. HAN officials hope the project will spur more additions to the Lincoln Lakes region's medical community.

The facility will have 23 exam rooms, 10 more than HAN's current offices, including a new state-of-the-art computerized records system that it will share with Penobscot Valley Hospital of Lincoln and Millinocket Regional Hospital, among others.

Construction prep work began Wednesday after Perry & Morrill won the $4.43 million bid. It was the lowest of five received, Cook said. The other $965,500 includes funds for land acquisition, legal, accounting, architectural and engineering work, bonds, insurance and contingency funds.

Almost entirely funded by a Bangor Savings Bank loan, the project is scheduled to finish in late March.

The company is familiar with projects of this scale, said Don Nason, co-owner of Perry & Morrill. Middle and elementary schools in Skowhegan and Veazie, a student center at the University of Maine Augusta campus, and medical buildings in Lubec and Dover-Foxcroft are among its previous projects.

Perry & Morrill also renovated and put an addition on Mattanawcook Junior High School in Lincoln several years ago. The fire that recently devastated the company's offices has only slightly impeded the company's efficiency, Nason said.

"We just keep working," Nason said. "We are still moving along up there."